Using High Reliability and 'Lean' Thinking to Drive Excellence in Patient Safety: A Case Study from Radiation Oncology
Authors: Lukasz Mazur, Bhishamjit Chera, Robert Adams, Lawrence B. Marks
Abstract: A grand challenge for most radiation oncology clinics is to develop highly reliable systems that deliver value to every patient. We present a case study from the Radiation Oncology Department at the University of North Carolina (UNC) where we recognize that our systems are imperfect despite multiple built-in quality assurance (QA) steps to detect human errors. We took on a journey to organize our systems in such way that we are better able to notice the ‘week signals’ of human errors. We herein highlight previously-reported initiatives and demonstrate concurrent improvements in patient safety culture. In summary, this case study suggests that high reliability and ‘Lean’ thinking initiatives can be successfully implemented to yield measurable improvements in patient safety culture.
Keywords: Case study, Radiation Oncology, Reliability, Safety, Lean, Culture
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